[Photo News] Site of North Korean soldier's defection

N. Korea defector in serious condition from gunshot wounds

N. Korea defector in serious condition from gunshot wounds

The state-run Korean Central News Agency on Saturday criticized the US for increasing military tension in the Asia Pacific region, warning that the DPRK, as a responsible nuclear power protecting the gateway to Northeast Asia, would never stand by and watch as the USA attempted to bring about nuclear war.

Mr Song last visited North Korea 18 months ago.

"I believe that it continues to develop its weapons", Abe said at a news conference in Manila.

Regarding North Korea's current pause in nuclear and missile tests, Yun reportedly told the US Council on Foreign Relations on October 30 that if North Korea halts such experiments for around 60 days, it would be a signal indicating the need to resume direct talks with Pyongyang.

But Pyongyang sees any United States military exercises as a threat. She hopes that the USA will employ more diplomatic means with North Korea in order to avoid a nuclear war.

DiMaggio has spoken to North Korean officials several times this year in "track 2" discussions.


North Korean soldiers stand on steps overlooking the border village of Panmunjom, North Korea, in 2013.

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However, moves to foster such channels into solid dialogue are expected to face challenges, as Washington and Pyongyang have yet to find common ground on the nuclear issue. "They question his erratic behavior, and also his mounting problems here at home, with the investigation being conducted by [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller, and they, I'm sure, are asking why should we begin negotiations with the Trump administration, when Donald Trump may not be president much longer?" In Monday's incident, it wasn't known if the North continued firing after the defector was officially in the southern part of the Joint Security Area. In 1998, a North Korean solider fled to South Korea via Panmunjom.

"The North appeared to show a measured response to Trump's visit.There was no threat of military action and the North's insults against Trump seemed to be reduced", Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesperson, said at a regular press briefing.

Baik declined to give reasons for the government's assessment but cautious optimism for possible talks between the USA and the North has risen as North Korea has refrained from provocations for about 60 days.

A fortnight ago, Mr Xi exchanged letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, over the 19th party congress, the Communist Party's five-yearly meeting.

The latest exchange between the two struck a more moderate tone compared to their recent "war of words" after the North's sixth and largest nuclear test on September 3.

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